When I did my theological studies at LST I was stretched and impacted by a brilliant module I studied called Being Human. To this day I am glad and grateful to the tutor and fellow students for the way this module widened my horizons and enabled me to explore more deeply the reality of what it means to be human. This journey had begun with a counselling course, continued when reading Philip Yancey’s The Jesus I never knew and continued through that year into the Being Human module.
On Sunday I was reminded afresh of the humanity of Jesus. We looked at Mark 5: 21-43 and the stories of Jesus raising a dead girl having first healed a sick women. The humanity of these stories, the way in which Jesus takes time in each case, the way he does not rush away from one situation or rush to meet the needs of the powerful instead taking time to value the women who would have been marginalised for her significant and lengthy issue of bleeding and to then call her daughter and take time to be with her is astonishing. There was no tyranny of the urgent or following the strategic plan of ministry in that action. We see that time and again and its truly startling and truly challenging. It caused me afresh to raise questions about my motivations, intentions and what I am really like.
Last night I watched the very human and very stirring film 7/7: One Day in London. What an incredible film and a remarkable insight into the reality of what it means to be human.
The day after London won the Olympic bid, terrorists attacked the public transport network killing 52 people and injuring over 700. Seven years later, as the eyes of the world are once again focused on the capital, ‘7/7: One Day in London’ gathers the testimony of over 50 people directly affected by the bombings, exploring the long lasting effects as they reflect on their experiences and how their lives have changed.
After the conclusion of the public inquest in 2011, a multitude of previously untold stories emerged of the bravery, difficulties and horror that people experienced on that day in 2005; many of these have been included in this film as well as testimony from people who have never spoken publically before. This is an ambitious retelling of the story of what happened on that day, with contributions from commuters, emergency service workers, TFL staff and families of victims. With enormous compassion for one another, ordinary people tell extraordinary stories of the day when they were thrown together, and their struggle to cope in the wake of the blasts that shook London.
In the midst of the most unimaginable anguish and suffering there were stories still emerging of hope, compassion, sacrifice, service and unbelievable strength and resolve that are equally mind blowing as they are inspiring. The Bravery and willingness of these people to share these stories is a real gift. The honesty and rawness is still very understandably there. The Shock, anguish and tears came to me in abundance as well as the fragility of it all.
I’m aware that being human also means a lot of other dimensions…. comedy, humour, creativity, energy, speed, agility and lots more incredibly positive and energising things and I celebrate that to!
Authenticity, honesty, integrity, bring our true selves, living out of our true identity in Christ are all the hallmarks of what it means to be truly, fully human. I want to keep discovering that, living for that. Whether that’s empathising with others, celebrating success and good news, being real about struggles and frustrations, putting into perspective my struggles and realising I have so much to be thankful for, being fully present in special moments with my family, crying out to God in prayer for things that seem so unjust and hard to take, eating great cake with friends to celebrate their birthday. Its all part of what it means to be human!